spring 2022
GEO-3144 Marine geology and geophysics cruise - 5 ECTS

Type of course

This course is not available as a single course, and is not available to exchange students or free-movers. The course is only available for students enrolled at the M.Sc. program in Geology at UiT.

GEO-3145 Arctic Marine Geology and Geophysics workshop is connected to this course and might be taken before or after this course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a programme of study of at least three years, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other program for basis of admission.

Application code: 9371.

Course content

The course is an educational cruise on the research vessel R/V Helmer Hanssen, primarily in the waters of Svalbard, the Fram Strait, or the Arctic Ocean. The research topics and scientific questions addressed during the cruise change annually. They include sedimentary processes and stratigraphy of glaciated continental margins; paleoclimate, paleoceanography and glacial history; processes related to fluid flow; modern and fossil ecosystems physical; chemical properties of ocean water masses, sea-ice formation and melting; the dynamics of the ocean floor and its subsurface; marine geohazards.

The students will be introduced to state-of-the-art instrumentations and methods necessary to perform a scientific cruise. This includes acoustic instruments to map the properties of the water column, the seafloor and the sub-seafloor, as well as equipment to retrieve samples from the water column and the seafloor. The students will be actively involved in data collection and analyses, as well as discussions of the results, in line with regular scientific cruises.

Objectives of the course


The student has

  • knowledge of basic marine geology and paleoceanography.
  • knowledge of acoustic data collection and interpretation.
  • knowledge of water and seafloor sampling techniques.
  • knowledge of analytical techniques and interpretations of the data collected during the cruise.


The student can

  • use acoustic data to interpret the morphology of the seafloor and the stratigraphy of the sub-seafloor to reconstruct the geological development of and present geological processes in the study area.
  • use instrumental data to describe the hydrography in the study area.
  • develop sampling strategies for the water column and the seafloor based on the interpretation of acoustic and instrumental data collected during the cruise.
  • prepare sampling gear prior to data collection and recover material from the sampling gear after its return back on deck.
  • perform analyses and interpretation of the material recovered.

General competences

The student can

  • carry out the most important elements of marine-geoscientific research projects: penetrating literature, carrying out field research, analyzing data, and communicating results to fellow students/scientists.
  • use data and geological knowledge to study and interpret the geological development of the study area, as well as processes taking place at present.
  • solve marine-geoscientific questions and hypotheses analytically and prompt in written English.
  • work independent and in a team.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

This course will provide a combination of fieldwork, lectures and tutorials, supported by computer-aided learning, and independent study. Modern instruments for acquisition of acoustic data and sediment sampling will be demonstrated, including i.e. multibeam echo sounder and seismic equipment; piston, gravity, box and multi-coring systems. The students will have daily lectures on board, obtain supervision during the field work and have discussions about the obtained results.


Written individual cruise report (c. 10 pages) after the cruise that counts 100 % of the final grade.

Grading scale: Letter grades A-F, where F is fail. In case the grade is fail, new, improved cruise reports can be delivered within a new deadline.

Compulsory learning activities

Approval of training in health, safety, and environment prior to the cruise. This follows the UiT routines for cruises and will be provided by the crew onboard the research vessel. Admittance to the exam requires cruise participation.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: GEO-3144
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet